Feb 4, 2009

$1k Car Repairs and a Broken Radio

My car started having "issues" a few months ago. In the mornings, sometimes it wouldn't want to turn on. I'd try a few times, hold my breath, and eventually it would work.

But then the other day it just - kaput - gave out. It was time to get it towed to a repair shop and see what was wrong, and just how much it would cost me.

So my insurance company sent out a tow truck, and the guy jump started my car so I could drive it to the auto repair shop I read about on Yelp that was beyond the "free towing" distance. I drove it there, safely, and found out that the inspection would be $100 just to find out what's wrong.

I agreed to that (it seems normal) and got a call a few hours later letting me know that... I needed new back breaks ($$), I should get a 150k checkup ($$) and I probably needed a new starter ($$$$) and my battery chords were all messed up so they had to get replaced too ($$). The total price came to $1018 to fix/check out my car.

I can't help wondering if I got ripped off. I know it costs a lot to repair cars, and my car wasn't starting, but that's a lot of money. Still, I think it was worth it for my car. The guy said the engine and battery look good and should last me.

The only thing I'm pissed about is that when I got my car back my radio was broken. So, it was kind of on the fritz before, but it had been working no problem. Now it won't turn on. I haven't gone back to ask about that because I'm sure he'll say that he didn't even touch the radio - but really, it's not turning on, at all. I don't really want to pay to get that fixed too!



3 comments:

Nicole said...

If you got ripped off or not all depends on where you went. That honsetly dons't sound terrible to me.

Little Miss Moneybags said...

I don't think it sounds like you got ripped off (I took an auto mechanics class in college). Starters are expensive things to replace, and it's not just the cost of the part--they can be really hard to get to.

Starter or battery problems could have fried your radio without anyone touching it--I'd take it back to the shop and say that it worked when you took the car in, and now it doesn't, and is it something they could take care of. It's worth a try anyway.

Mrs. Accountability said...

Hiya, just stopped by after I commented to you on Twitter about your jamba juice. Have you ever heard of this place to check car repair costs? http://repairpal.com/ You put in your automobile, zip code and the repairs and the site comes back with estimates of what it could cost in your area. At least you will know if the prices you were charged for the work done was reasonable. I know it is so very difficult to trust mechanics. We thought we'd found one we could trust, but then we found a part glued back on which was causing the "check engine" light to stay on so we won't be going back there. As to whether those things needed repair, that's hard to know, too, and frustrating. $150K is a lot of miles, you are probably going to be running into a lot of "routine" maintenance repairs. I wish we could afford to do the routine maintenance that is recommended for our vehicle, but it is just ridiculously expensive to replace something that doesn't really need to be done. We basically wait until it breaks to fix it. I am totally convinced on replacing timing belts when required though, lost an engine once. Nice site. See you on Twitter.

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